Download the NEW NSGA App!
The NSGA, in partnership with our 2021 National Senior Games presenting sponsor Humana, is proud to announce the creation of our very own National Senior Games Association phone app that you can download free today!
The NSGA App is user-friendly and mirrors the NSGA website to make it easy for all users to navigate and quickly find the information they are looking for, including a link to the monthly e-newsletter and quick links to NSGA social media pages. It was also designed to serve the entire association.
“Our main goal was to showcase not only the NSGA, but also our State Member Organizations,” says Becky Sewell, Director of Association Relations. “The app will enable us to send out basic information regarding state senior games that is provided by our Member Organizations.”
Furthermore, NSGA has begun the process of creating a detailed and user-friendly 2021 National Senior Games App with all the information that will be provided for The Games in Greater Fort Lauderdale, along with a few integrated options for users to access.
If you are reading this on your smartphone, you can download the NSGA App by clicking on the appropriate Apple App Store or Google Play Store links below and type in “National Senior Games Association” in the search bar. Get the app and stay connected!
Qualifying and 2021 Games Update
As NSGA navigates through 2020, providing updated information to athletes in coordination with our State Senior Games Member Organizations, we want you to know that planning continues for the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana coming to sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale next year.
We want to thank our Member Organizations for their direct communication with athletes about the status of their 2020 qualifying games. NSGA will continue to update the State Games Information page on our website as we receive status updates from the states. The downloadable State Games Contact List provides the 2020 status for each state qualifying senior games and should be checked regularly due to frequent updates.
In May, NSGA announced an Adjusted Qualification Process for the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana, which can be accessed on the How To Qualify page of our website. NSGA will send qualification notices to qualified athletes later this year, and registration for the National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will open Spring of 2021.
When exact registration dates are finalized, the information will be posted on NSGA.com and announced in this monthly newsletter. NSGA looks forward to 2021 and encourages Senior Games athletes to stay active and engaged in their activities as we get through this challenging year together!
Last Call for 2019 Games Merchandise!
You know you are getting a little closer to the next National Senior Games when we make a last call to get official merchandise from the last one! As we all eagerly look forward to meeting again in Greater Fort Lauderdale for the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana, it’s also a good time to recall those enchanted memories of Albuquerque and maybe go ahead and order that extra logo shirt from The Games.
The NSGA Official Store online still has a great selection, with plenty of polos, hoodies, sweatshirts and performance wear to be found. Logo caps and the awesome Outback Hat are still available, too. Plus, you can always customize your gear by adding the 2019 Logo or other graphic options for your shirt’s back and side sleeves!
We are retiring the 2019 logo, so hurry to get your gear before it’s gone!
August Athlete of the Month
Joy on the Track
It’s great to win a gold medal, and special when you achieve a record for the best performance in your age and event. But it’s extraordinary when your record surpasses a legend and personal inspiration, as Californian Joy Upshaw experienced in 2019.
Even though she was at the top of her 55-59 age group, Joy scorched the track at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana, setting National Senior Games all-time records in the 50M (7.22), 100M (13.32) and 200M (27.71) races in Albuquerque. What is significant is that in breaking the 100M and 200M, she surpassed the great Phillipa “Phil” Raschker, who set dozens of NSGA and many world masters records between 1983 and 2013. Phil was so dominant that she was the first athlete over 35 to ever be a finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award given each year for the best overall athlete, and she was nominated for that honor twice.
Joy was humbled by the achievement. “When I was coming up Phil’s name was all over the place, and I have big respect for her,” she says. “I would see her and say hello at meets, and then when I started to break some of her records, I would tell her how high she had set the bar and how hard I have to work to hope to do better.”
The sizzling 2019 performance was no fluke, as Joy has always excelled in track & field, pursuing a career as a prep school and college coach (including the University of California at Berkeley) while continuing to compete as a masters athlete since age 30. The certified coach helps with meets and currently works with her Joy’s Jackrabbits Track Club, which includes more than 20 elite masters-level athletes from the San Francisco Bay Area & beyond.
Joy’s family pedigree is impressive. Her father, Monte Upshaw, broke Jesse Owens’ national high school long jump record in 1954, and her younger sister, Grace Upshaw, competed in long jump for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Two other siblings also competed in college. Joy’s own resume includes many wins and records at USA Masters and international track and field competitions. She holds several American records and has held the indoor world record in the Long Jump, 200m and 60m hurdles.
But some records stand out, and Joy, now 60, says her perspective has evolved to appreciate every aspect of her involvement. “When I was younger, Phil Rashker gave me advice by telling me that ‘every new year is a new P.R. [personal record] year.’ At first I didn’t get it, but now I know it’s true! Sometimes we can have better times due to being not as injured as the year before, but we have to embrace the fact that every year we are getting older. I have to compete for my best time for this year and not compare it with the last. I’m into the ‘now’ now,” she explains.
“It’s fun to win, but it’s also about being with friends and challenging yourself,” Joy continues. “If I come in second or third, but I did my best time, I’m so happy. And it’s all a matter of balance. I don’t work out every day, and recovery time is huge no matter what level you are.”
Joy also finds hope and motivation for the future from elder track heroes, mentioning Kathy Bergen, Christel Donley, Elsbeth Padia and Flo Meiler as longtime competitors she looks up to. “I have the utmost respect for their athleticism and how they keep going. They are my inspiration, but they’re also making it so hard for me in the future!”
2019 was Joy’s debut in National Senior Games, but it won’t be her last. “The whole environment was great,” she recalls. “It was a real eye-opener seeing all the sports and athletes there, and the people were terrific!”
We’d like to hear about you or an interesting athlete you admire-it just might be selected for a story! To submit yours, or to nominate another, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
NSGA Produces New Batch of Exercise Videos
Our pledge to provide athletes and others with help and tips for how to stay active through this pandemic continues with introduction of five new exercise videos. These are now added to our library which offers the continuum from foundation conditioning to advanced activities that enhance sports performance.
We would like to thank Dr. Justin Jones P.T, along with Dr. Jeff Musgrave P.T, of Stronger Life Fitness in Lexington, Kentucky, for their assistance with moderating and producing the video. A big shout out to athlete Adriene “Abby” Allen for being our demonstration athlete. Abby snagged three Gold and two Silver medals at The Games in 2019, and she’s on top of our podium for giving us her time and talent here!
View the new videos at the link below and browse around the rest of the Health and Wellness tab at NSGA.com to find many more resources!
Step Up, for the Health of It: The Benefits of Physical Activity
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that all adults get 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking or fast dancing) per week. NSGA’s multiyear screenings using our Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) screening reveal that Senior Game athletes record 320 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity physical activity “for the love of The Games.”
We commend all Senior Games athletes for their overall higher than average levels of physical activity!
Many of you train because of the passion to play your sport well. COVID-19 has affected the kinds of training and physical activity that you normally do, and sadly, many competitions have been canceled and many will not have the opportunity to participate in a state qualifier. This results in scaling back the level of physical activity that would normally keep you in top fitness form. Despite these barriers, it is encouraging to know that you can still reap positive benefits from all types of physically activity, even if you only move for 10 minutes at a time. We have amassed many exercise and wellness articles and videos to help people at any level of fitness in the Health and Wellness section at NSGA.com. One example is this High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) video.
The latest Physical Activity Guidelines report confirms several additional long term and immediate benefits from moving in all the ways that you normally do. An interesting finding is that physical activity provides its own unique contributions, aside from other positive health behaviors like good nutrition. Long term benefits include reducing the chance of developing many types of cancer, dementia, depression and heart disease. Adequate physical activity imparts immediate effects on conditions like anxiety, sleep quality, and blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. You will positively affect your functional ability, bone health and quality of life.
So be encouraged and give yourself credit for all the movement you are doing to maintain your well-being. One way you can immediately give yourself credit is by recording how much physical activity you do for the next seven days. The National Senior Games Step Up Your Game Challenge provides an easy-to-use platform that allows you to convert various types of physical activities into steps. You can still join others from your state team for the last week of the current challenge. When join your state team, your steps contribute to the state’s chance to claim the title for greatest average number of steps by the end date of August 21.
Many of your peers have told us that this challenge is helping to motivate and keep them accountable. If you don’t believe us, here are what some of them are saying.
“The Challenge has motivated me to walk more and with added purpose.”
“I am accountable for my steps; that’s what the challenge does for me.”
“I just had a birthday on July 1st and made it to 65, my goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps per day; so far it’s been great.”
“Since being in quarantine, I became a little slack with pushing myself to do more. Although I walk every day, this challenge was just what I needed to push myself harder. I do love a good challenge, it makes it easier for me to set goals. Go Team Tennessee!”
Click Here to create a user profile, and when asked “Which Group Do You Belong To,” choose OYOH Physical Activity New Registration from the drop-down menu. Then use the password seniorgames to join your state team. Long Live the Challenge!